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Vocabulary in Antony and Cleopatra

Vocabulary Examples in Antony and Cleopatra:

Act I - Act I, Scene 5

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"My salad days, When I was green in judgment:--cold in blood..."   (Act I - Act I, Scene 5)

"Salad days" has come to mean a number of different things, including one's heyday or highest point. However, in this original context, "salad days" refer to a time when one was young, "green" or inexperienced, and passionless. Cleopatra uses this metaphor to refer to her youthful affair with Julius Caesar. Her love and passion for Caesar were not real love as her love for Antony is. Rather, her lack of discretion and passion made him seem greater than he was. Cleopatra contradicts the Chairman's claim that her praises for Antony are similar to her past praise of Caesar by asserting that she has changed and matured.

"Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have Immortal longings in me..."   (Act V - Act V, Scene 2)

By "immortal longings," Cleopatra means that she has desires to die and thus become "immortal." Because "immortal" means undying, everlasting, and deathless, Cleopatra's desire is paradoxical. Using this oxymoron, Cleopatra emphasizes the fame of her love: in dying with her love, Cleopatra makes their story immortal. She claims her crown and robe, symbols of her power, in her death in order to assert not only her immortal love but her immortal fame.

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